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Someone Cares Series
Information brochure No. 11

By What Standard
Will We Be Judged?


In our last lesson we learned that "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ." In this lesson we will discover the standard by which we are to be judged.

1. Can we earn salvation?

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Faith is the condition upon which God has seen fit to promise pardon to sinners; not that there is any virtue in faith whereby salvation is merited, but because faith can lay hold of the merits of Christ, the remedy provided for sin. Faith can present Christ's perfect obedience instead of the sinner's transgression and defection. When the sinner believes that Christ is his personal Saviour, then according to His unfailing promises, God pardons his sin and justifies him freely. Human beings are in continual danger of boasting, of exalting self. Thus they reveal their weakness. The great change that is seen in the life of the sinner after his conversion is not brought about through any human goodness; therefore, all human boasting is entirely out of place.

2. What experience must we have to receive this free gift?

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).

It is only through the life from God that life is begotten in the hearts of men. The Saviour said, "except a man be born from above," unless he shall receive a new heart, new desires, purposes and motives, leading to a new life, "he cannot see the kingdom of God." There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.

3. To be born again means to receive the gift of Jesus' divine nature. In the Scriptures, this nature is variously called life, power, seed or spirit. How can we receive this new nature?

"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (2 Peter 1:3, 4).

Contemplating Christ and His righteousness leaves no room for self righteousness or the glorifying of self. In the life of the Christian there is no standstill. There is continual advancement in every stage of the knowledge of Christ. God is behind all His promises, and they are estimated by the truth of the one who makes them. Many men make promises only to break them, to mock the heart that trusted in them. We must realize that through belief in Him it is our privilege to be partakers of the divine nature, and so escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. As we partake of the divine nature, hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong are cut away from the character.

4. Unless we are "eating" the Word of God, through Bible study and prayer, can we have Jesus' life (or nature) abiding in us?

"Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. ... It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:53, 63).

Our bodies are built up from what we eat and drink. And as in the natural, so in the spiritual economy; it is that which our minds dwell upon which sustains the spiritual nature. Spiritual life must be sustained by communion with Christ through His Word. The mind must dwell upon it and the heart must be filled with it. The Word of God, laid up in the heart and sacredly cherished and obeyed through the power of the grace of Christ, can make man right and keep him right. Unless the truth of God controls the heart, the conscience will be warped.

5. When we are born again, what must happen to the sinful habits in our life?

"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin" (Romans 6:4-6).

With faith and humility they had accepted the Lamb of God that has taken away the sins of the world. Through the blood of Jesus they had remission of sins that were past. These souls brought forth fruit meet for repentance. They believed and were baptized and rose to walk in newness of life—new creatures in Christ Jesus—not to fashion themselves according to former lusts, but by the faith of the Son of God to follow in His steps, to reflect His character and to purify themselves even as He is pure. The things they once hated they now loved and the things they once loved, they hated. The proud and self assertive became meek and lowly of heart. The vain and supercilious became serious and unobtrusive. The profane became reverent, the drunken sober and the profligate pure.

6. What is sin?

"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4).

Without the law there can be no transgression. The transgression of God's law in a single instance, in the smallest particular, is sin. He cannot do away with its smallest item in order to meet and pardon sin. Christ was obedient to every requirement of the Law. By His perfect obedience He has made it possible for every human being to obey God's Commandments. Let none deceive themselves with the belief that they can become holy while willfully violating one of God's requirements. The commission of a known sin silences the witnessing voice of the Spirit and separates the soul from God.

7. How will God know that we have been born again? By what standard will He judge us on the day of judgment?

"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty" (James 2:10-12).

"This do and thou shalt live," Jesus said. He presented the Law as a divine unity and in this lesson taught that it is not possible to keep one precept and break another, for the same principle runs through them all. Man's destiny will be determined by his obedience to the whole law. Supreme love to God and impartial love to man are the principles to be wrought out in the life.

8. Since we were born in sin, and love sin, how can we have the new-birth experience of victory over sin?

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. ... For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live" (Romans 8:2-6, 13).

So long as we surrender the will to God, and trust in His strength and wisdom, we will be guided in save paths to fulfill our appointed part in His great plan. In the new birth the heart is brought into harmony with God as it is brought into accord with His law. When this mighty change has taken place in the sinner he has passed from death unto life, from sin unto holiness, from transgression and rebellion to obedience and loyalty. The old life of alienation from God has ended, the new life of reconciliation, faith and love has begun. Then the righteousness of the law will be fulfilled in us.

9. How do we know that Jesus had no advantage over us so that we too can live victoriously over sin "just as" Jesus did (1 John 3:3)?

"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:15, 16).

The throne of grace represents the kingdom of grace, for the existence of a throne implies the existence of a kingdom. In many of His parables Christ uses the expression "the kingdom of heaven" to designate the work of divine grace upon the hearts of men. The kingdom of grace was instituted immediately after the fall of man, when a plan was devised for the redemption of the guilty race. It then existed in the purpose and by the promise of God, and through faith men could become its subjects.

The Son of God has fulfilled His pledge and has passed into the heavens to take upon Himself the government of the heavenly host. He fulfilled one phase of His priesthood by dying on the cross for the fallen race. He is not fulfilling another phase by pleading before the Father the case of the repenting, believing sinner, presenting to God the offerings of His people. Having taken human nature, and in this nature having overcome the temptation of the enemy, and having divine perfection, to Him has been committed the judgment of the world. The case (or record) of each one will be brought in review before Him. Those who claim that it was not possible for Christ to sin cannot believe that He really took upon Himself human nature. Was not Christ actually tempted, not only by Satan in the wilderness but all through His life, from childhood to manhood? in all points He was tempted as we are, and because He successfully resisted temptation under every form He gave man the perfect example.

As an earthly parent encourages his child to come to him at all times, so the Lord encourages us to lay before Him our wants and perplexities, our gratitude and love. Every promise is sure. Jesus is our Surety and Mediator and He has placed at our command every resource that we may have a perfect character.

10. How could Jesus have been "tempted as we are?"

"For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, ... Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted" (Hebrews 2:11, 14-18).

God Himself must be revealed to humanity. He employed the human faculties, for only by adopting these could He be comprehended by humanity. He lived out the character of God through the human body which God had prepared for Him. He blessed the world by living out in human flesh the life of God. He could not come in the form of an angel, for unless He met man as man and testified by His connection with God that divine power was not given to Him in a different way to what it will be given to us, He could not be a perfect example for us. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. In His humanity He understood all the temptations that will come to man. Jesus became a man that He might mediate between man and God. As Christ overcame every temptation which Satan brought against Him, so man is to overcome. Through toil through patient trust and faith in Jesus Christ, through faithful continuance in well doing, he may rise to spiritual victory. Jesus exercised no powers that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess. In Christ, God has provided means for subduing every sinful trait, and resisting every temptation however strong.

11. When Jesus gives us a new beginning (new birth) by imparting to us His Spirit (or nature), what does He write on our hearts?

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:" (Hebrews 8:10).

The light shining from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself, If we do not resist this drawing we shall be led to the foot of the cross in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour. Then the Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul. The thoughts and desires are brought into obedience to the will of Christ. The heart and mind are created anew in the image of Him who works in us to subdue all things to Himself. Then the Law of God is written in the mind and heart and we can say with Christ, "I delight to do Thy will O my God." (Psalms 40:8).

12 What motive should prompt us to keep God's law?

"If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15).

We are not to serve God as though we were not human, but we are to serve Him in the nature we have that has been redeemed by the Son of God; through the righteousness of Christ we shall stand before God pardoned and as though we had never sinned. We will never gain strength in considering what we might do if we were angels. We are to turn in faith to Jesus Christ and show our love to God through obedience to His commands.

13. Are God's commandments burdensome to those who are truly born again?

"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:3-4).

If our hearts are renewed in the likeness of God, if the divine love is implanted in the soul, the law of God will be carried out in the life. When the principle of love is implanted in the heart, when man is renewed after the image of Him that created him, the new covenant promise is fulfilled; "I will put My laws into their hearts and in their minds will I write them" (Hebrews 10:16). And if the Law is written in the heart, will it not shape the life? Obedience, the service and allegiance of love, is the true sign of discipleship.

A spiritual relation between Christ and the soul can be established only through the exercise of personal faith. "Without faith it is impossible to please Him" (Hebrews 11:6). It is faith that connects us with the power of heaven and brings us strength for coping with the powers of darkness. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."

14. Why will many who think they are born again be disappointed on the day of judgment?

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:21-23).

The people here described, who make these pretentious claims, apparently weaving Jesus into all their doings, fitly represent those who claim modern sanctification but who are at war with the Law of God. Christ calls them workers of iniquity because they are deceivers, having on the garments of righteousness to hide the deformity of their characters, the inward wickedness of their unholy hearts. Satan has come down in these last days to work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. He works miracles in the sight of men, claiming that he is indeed Christ himself. Those who claim to have the great power of God can only be discerned by the great detector, the Law of God. The sheep's clothing seems so real, so genuine, that the wolf cannot be discerned. Only as we go to God's great moral standard can we find that they are transgressors of the Law of God.

15. How does the Bible summarize the answer to our question, "By what standard will we be judged on the day of judgment?"

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14).

The Lord requires perfection from His redeemed family. He calls for perfection in character building. Fathers and mother especially need to understand the best methods of training children, that they may co-operate with God. Men and women, children and youth are measured in the scales of heaven in accordance with that which they reveal in their home life. A Christian in the home is a Christian everywhere.

The statement is often heard that god is not particular whether or not we give diligent heed to His Word, whether or not we obey all the Commandments of His holy Law, but the record of His dealing with Achan should be a warning to us, "He sill in no wise clear the guilty."16. Who will be admitted into heaven?"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Revelation 22:14).

Transgression of God's requirements excluded Adam from the garden of Eden. A flaming sword was placed around the tree of life lest man should put forth his hand and partake of it, immortalizing sin. Obedience to all the Commandments of God as the condition of eating of the tree of life. Adam fell by disobedience, forfeiting by sin all right to use either the life giving fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden, or its leaves which were for the healing of the nations. Obedience through Jesus Christ gives a man perfection of character and a right to that tree of life. The conditions f again partaking of the fruit of the tree are plainly stated in the testimony of Jesus Christ to John. If people have knowingly trampled upon and despised His Law on earth, they will not be taken to heaven to do the same work there. There is no change of character when Christ comes. The character building is to go on during the hours of probation. Day by day our actions are registered in the books of heaven.


Our salvation cost Jesus His life, but He offers salvation to us free if we will but surrender our sinful natures to Him who has promised to "take away our sins" (1 John 3:5) and to write His law on our hearts. Thus it is that we will be judged according to God's law, for our works show whether we have been born again (1 John 2:29). "Let no one deceive you" on this point (1 John 3:6, 7)! The new birth involves a total, growing change of character, habits, and thinking (2 Corinthians 5:17). Do you want Jesus to give you this new-birth experience, beginning today?

Page created: 7/26/98 Updated: 11/15/2006
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